The Topic:
Literary Criticism

Easier - Literary criticism is a view or opinion on what a particular written work means. It is about the meanings that a reader finds in an author's literature.
Harder - Literary criticism is an attempt to evaluate and understand the creative writing, the literature of an author. Literature includes plays, essays, novels, poetry, and short stories. Literary criticism is a description, analysis, evaluation, or interpretation of a particular literary work or an author's writings as a whole. Literary criticism is usually expressed in the form of a critical essay. In-depth book reviews are also sometimes viewed as literary criticism.
Critical Reading by B. Laga at Mesa State College
This guide created for college students introduces literary theory and criticism.
Related Websites:
2) Critical Reading: A Guide by J. Lye
3) Depth, Complexity, Quality by J. Lye
4) Literary Elements by D.K. Peterson
5) Problem of Meaning in Literature by J. Lye
6) Some Factors Affecting / Effecting the Reading of Texts
Literary Criticism from Internet Public Library
This site provides an good introduction to literary criticism.
Related Websites:
2) Critical Approaches by D.K. Peterson
3) Critical Theory by M. Delahoyde
4) Differences Between Literary Criticism, Literary Theory and 'Theory Itself' by J. Lye
5) Grounds of Evaluation of Fiction: Suggestions by J. Lye
6) Guide to Literacy and Critical Theory (Advanced level) by D. Felluga from Purdue University
7) Humanism and Literary Theory by M. Klages
8) Literary Criticism: An Overview of Approaches by S.H. Burris
9) Specialized Approaches to Reading and Writing About Literature
10) Timeline of Major Critical Theories in US by W. Hedges at Southern Oregon University
Literary Criticism from Internet Public Library
This site contains over 1,000 critical and biographical Websites about authors and their works that can be browsed by author, by title, or by literary period.
Related Websites:
2) How to Find Literary Criticism on the Internet by G. Davis from Suite 101
3) Literary Criticism from Library Spot
4) Literary Criticism on the Web
Writing About Literature / The Basics by D.K. Peterson from Wayne State University
This site provides guidelines for writing about literature.
Related Sites by D.K. Peterson:
2) 10 Steps to Writing the Literary (Analysis) Essay
3) Literary Analysis Essay
4) Quoting, Paraphrasing, & Summarizing
Other Websites on Literary Essays:
5) How to Prepare for a Literary Essay
6) Writing About Literature from OWL at Purdue University
7) Writing an Essay
You may also want to visit these related eduScapes websites: (1) Biographies, (2) Charles Dickens, (3) Fantasy & Science Fiction, (4) Journal Writing, (5) Mark Twain, (6) Mystery, (7) Poetry for Kids, (8) William Shakespeare, and (9) Writing - - all from eduScapes 42eXplore.
After visiting several of the websites, complete one or more of the following projects.
Complete A Literary Criticism WebQuest. Adapt or follow the procedures found at one of the following webQuest sites:
1) Awakening to Literary Theory (Grades 11-12) by M.M. Owen
2) Different Perspectives in Literary Criticism (Grades 11-12) by M. O'Brien
3) Short Stories are Like a Box of Chocolates
Rewrite A Book Notes / Summary Guide. Many people do not view book notes or study guides for literature as a valid source for readers and learners. Select one that you find on the following sites. Evaluate the accuracy of the content and either write a review or update the guide to fit the literature.
After exploring several of these guide sites, a group activity could be to debate their value. Are they a useful resource? Which are better than others? What are the pros and cons regarding their use? What is your opinion!
Write A Book Review. Have you read a new book lately? Then write a review of it. Find some help with that at (1) How to Write a Literary Book Review from, (2) How to Write a Book Review from Queens University, (3) How to Write a Book Review from Dallhousie University, and (4) Write a Book Review with Rodman Philbrick from Scholastic. Submit your finished review; see if you can have it published in the student newspaper. You can also find a place to post your review online - - go to Book Review Projects from eduScapes Teacher Tap. An alternative activity could be to write a review of a new movie.
Create A Literary Journal. As you read a new book, keep a personal journal in which you write daily entries reflecting on what you have read. Make your journal personal. Discuss the main characters. Include things that you know, what you imagine, what you think, and what you want to learn more about. Think about the experiences, how you might react if these events happened and how the book relates to your own life. After you finish the book, add information about the author, identify your favorite section or passage, and summarize the book. Include your evaluation and recommendation. Finally, consider continuing your literary journal to include other books that you read.
Interview An Author. (Group project) Find an author who resides or is visiting your community. See if you can arrange an interview with them. If you need some help finding an author, check first with your school and public librarian to see if they know of a local author. If no book author is available, consider interviewing a local newspaper journalist. Prepare for your interview, develop a list of questions about their writing, their background and preparation that contributes to their writing, how they get their ideas and develop their stories, etc. Consider audiotaping or videotaping the interview and sharing it at your school or library.
Organize A Kid's Reading Club. Why not have your own reading group? Identify eight to twelve other interested young readers; if more than that show up then consider breaking into two groups. Find some guidelines at How To Organize a Reading Group by A. Blaustein and N. Rosenthal. Notice this was written for adults. It is a starting point for ideas, but an early task for your club would be to identify which guidelines are important for you and what you do not want to follow. Remember to remain open and flexible, maintain enthusiasm, and overall -- to make your club work. Please remember, no homework! You also may find useful help at Reading Group Guides (Young Adults) and Reading Group Guides both from Random House plus Reading Group Guides from BookSpot.
Websites By Kids For Kids
English Study Guides (Grades 9-11) from Calhoun High School, NY
Here is a collection of literature guides produced by high school students. Includes The Catcher in the Rye, Death of a Salesman, To Kill a Mockingbird, and several others. Provides background, character and themes information.
Lots More Great Websites
American Reader
Here university students selected their own readings and constructed an anthology. It provides both student authorized works and interpretations.
Related University Project Sites:
2) American Literature
3) Storyforms
Anglistik Guide from State and University Library Göttingen, Germany
This site is a subject gateway to scholarly relevant Internet resources on Anglo-American language and literature.
Beat Generation
This site is devoted to writers from the beat generation.
Related Website:
2) Literary Kicks
Book Reviews on the Internet from Indiana University Bloomington Libraries
This links-site connects you to book reviews on the Web.
Book Spot
Look here for bestseller lists, genres, book reviews, electronic texts, book news and more.
Cambridge History of English and American Literature from Bartleby
An encyclopedia in eighteen volumes, this is an important work of literary history and criticism ever published, containing over 303 chapters and 11,000 pages, with essay topics ranging from poetry, fiction, drama and essays to history, theology and political writing. The set encompasses a wide selection of writing on orators, humorists, poets, newspaper columnists, religious leaders, economists, Native Americans, song writers, and even non-English writing, such as Yiddish and Creole.
Children's Literature by C. Hurst and R. Otis
This is a collection of reviews of great books for kids, ideas of ways to use them in the classroom and collections of books and activities about particular subjects, curriculum areas, themes and professional topics.
Related Websites:
2) Children's Literature Resources (Links-site) from International Association of School
3) Children's Literature Web Guide
Fiction Criticism by G. Sauer and M. Cheng from The English Server
This site concentrates on novels and short fiction, classics and new works.
Related Site from The EServer:
2) EServer Drama Collection by G. Sauer
Glossary of Literary Criticism
Here is a small list of defined terms related to literature.
Related Websites:
2) Glossary of Literary Terms by R.A. Harris
3) Glossary of Literary Theory
4) Glossary of Poetic Terms by R.G. Shubinski
5) Glossary of Rhetorical Terms with Examples
6) Handbook of Rhetorical Devices by R.A. Harris
7) Words of Art from Okanagan University College
Literary Calendar
This almanac of literary information provides brief descriptions of notable literary events and many authors and/or works are clickable, leading to a biography of the author and/or to electronic texts of their works. Scroll down the page to search the site by dates, short phrases, or names.
Related Website:
2) This Day in Literary History from the History Channel
Literary Resources on the Net (English and American) by J. Lynch of Rutgers University
This collection of links connects to sites dealing especially with English and American literature, excluding most single electronic texts, and is limited to collections of information useful to academics.
Other Websites for both English and American Literature:
2) Literary History by J. Pridmore
Literature: What Makes a Good Short Story from Annenberg / CPB
Journey through a classic short story, "A Jury of Her Peers," by Susan Glaspell. Along the way, you'll solve the mystery of whether Minnie Wright killed her husband and explore the story's literary elements. You will also encounter rest stops where you can read more about the structure of story and take part in activities related to "A Jury of Her Peers".
After reading a great story, poem, play, essay, or critical article, you may want to know more. The Internet provides all kinds of information to aid your research. LitLinks is an annotated links-list that shows you what kinds of information about a work, its author, or period you'll find on each site.
Related Website:
2) Literary Index by C. Flack
LitWeb by R.B. Bailey from San Antonio College
The site provides information about and links to sites regarding major literary figures. Also there are outlines based on particular areas, such as Mexican-American literature, women's literature, British literature, and a survey of World literature.
This collection of European literary works represent the Medieval, Renaissance, and 17th Century periods.
Magpie Sings the Great Depression
With a student body numbering over ten thousand boys, the Bronx's DeWitt Clinton High School produced more than its share of writers and artists, many of whom were published in The Magpie, the school's literary magazine. This website presents 195 poems, articles, and short stories and 295 graphics and photographs from The Magpie, encompassing the years 1929 to 1942.
Playwrights on the Web
This is a database of playwrights and their plays.
Poets' Corner
The most diverse collection of poetry on the Web, containing thousands of works by several hundred poets, both familiar and obscure.
Related Websites:
2) Internet Poetry Archive
3) Modern American Poetry
4) Modern British Poetry
5) Sonnet Central
6) Voices and Visions Spotlights
Project CROW: American Literature Surveys from M. O'Conner at Millikin University
Project CROW stands for Course Resources On the Web. The website links to online resources for teaching and learning of American literature.
Voice of the Shuttle
This megasite contains links to authors and some criticism. It covers time periods, cultural backgrounds, literary theories, and more.
Related Website:
2) Zuzu's Petals Literary Resource
Voices from the Gaps
This site features the lives and works of women writers of color. Information is organized by name, state of birth, ethnic background and significant dates.
Web Concordances
This site includes workbooks and information about several British poets.
More on American Literature
Author Information
Journals / Magazines / Newspapers / Booksellers
Online / Electronic Texts
Websites For Teachers
American Collection
This site was posted in connection with a PBS television series on nine American authors. Designed for educators, the site contains teaching resources, lesson plans, background information, and author profiles. The site also includes an "American Writing Gateway" that links to Websites focused on some 50 of America's most prominent authors.
Essays on Teaching the American Literature from Center for Electronic Projects in American Culture Studies (CEPACS
These essays were originally published in the Heath Anthology Newsletter.
Related Websites:
2) Archive of Teaching Materials and Resources
3) Issues in Teaching the American Literature from the T-AMLIT Journal
Teaching Guide for Awakening to Literary Theory (Grades 11-12) by M.M. Owen
The webQuest is designed to help students learn to understand some of the schools of literary theory and the terminology of those theories, to evaluate literary criticism, and to analyze Kate Chopin's The Awakening.
Write a Book Review with Rodman Philbrick (Grades 3-8) from Scholastic
Students learn to analyze and write about books with help from a well-known children's book author. Rodman Philbrick, the acclaimed author of Freak the Mighty, provides students with a sample book review, plus writing tips, strategies, and challenges to help them develop their own reviews. He'll also give students guidelines on revising their writing.
literary criticism
movie review
social issues
literature elements
Chicano literature
social issues
compare / contrast
use of language
British literature
literary genre
point of view (P.O.V.)
African American literature
political trends
body of work
American literature
story pattern
complex ideas
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 5/03.